Business Intelligence is one of the most up-to-date and yet widely used business concepts in our contemporary world. In this article, we will jump into what Business Intelligence means and how important is a BI Consultant to one’s organization. Let’s first, however, look at exactly what business intelligence is.
A simple and straightforward definition of business intelligence
Business Intelligence or simply BI is a technology-driven process to analyze the data. This process ultimately provides practical information to managers, business owners, and all the key decision-makers of a business. BI tools for data analysis are presented in a variety of ways, such as reporting, dashboard, chart, map, graph, and all the tools that can display raw information and data in visual and usable formats.
In fact, business intelligence helps you as a manager to understand what factors are influencing the success or failure of your projects. This will allow you to find out which factors are more profitable for you and which are less profitable for you.
BI includes a wide range of tools, applications, and methodologies that help an organization collect data from the company’s internal and external systems and prepare them for analysis. From all this information, a report is finally prepared and delivered to the final manager and decision-maker of the organization.
A clear example of the use of business intelligence
Suppose you have a large online store and a lot of products for sale. Certainly, the mind of no manager can keep all the numbers and figures related to buying and selling, and of course, there is really no need to keep all these numbers and figures. In the process of implementing business intelligence, according to a complex operation, all the data of the organization is collected in a database (whether the daily, weekly or monthly information is collected is in your own hands). In fact, this database contains all the information about the company and each of the stores and purchases made by the organization.
In specialized terms, this database is called a data warehouse. This is the starting point and zero boundaries of business intelligence projects. The information collected in the data warehouse has several important dimensions, which are:
- Location: or location of users. Suppose each product is purchased by one person who lives in a particular province, city, or region. So one of the most important aspects of your data is the location variable.
- Time: In addition to all this, each sale has one parameter of time, you calculate that at least per 10 thousand sales and other sales will be added to the data warehouse per day.
Now imagine that a grand strategy meeting (or even a small one) is going to be held in one session, and the managers and final decision-makers want to make a fundamental decision, such as whether the right strategy is to save money from suppliers. Purchased or stored in warehouses under construction.
This is exactly where business intelligence comes into play. In this example, the manager or management team can easily use the Summarized Data, to find out which goods or groups of goods are used by which people in which cities and regions.
Now, on that basis, does the strategy we’ve set out to help really save money or, worse, increase costs? For example, if we find out that X goods have high sales in the Y region, will the decision to build an X-warehouse in Y region reduce the cost of maintaining and delivering the product?
Imagine that the director did not have access to the data warehouse
If our manager did not have access to the data warehouse and did not have the sum of the total number of sales, the sum of money made for each product at a particular time and place, all the data for a few years now needs to be checked and all these calculations need to be done manually. But in order to fully understand business intelligence, We would like to discuss it with a business analyst (BA).
5 Important Benefits of Business Intelligence for Your Business
In the following, we want to see the benefits of business intelligence for your business.
1. You can easily prepare quick reports
Every company or business has different departments. Information from different sections is spread in different formats. Most of the efforts made in this information are to organize this information into a format that can be analyzed. With the help of advanced business intelligence tools, you can have a complete and readable report of each part of the company in the shortest possible time.
As a manager or business owner, it is vital that you know what your company’s data is telling you. Of course, information is not the equivalent of intelligence. This is especially useful when your company has different sections and the information in the different sections is not very related and you need this information to make a decision.
2. It helps you to make quick and smart decisions
All of the company’s revenue and profits are directly related to strategic decisions.
You may be interested to know that the approximate time to prepare an IT report is about two days. In today’s fast-paced world, data is constantly changing and fluctuating. During the two days, the data changes a lot. In fact, the company’s managers and strategists need to have access to up-to-date information so that they can make quick decisions and not lose their place in the market.
These numbers are not small at all, it is with the help of these numbers you can find the right and lucrative solutions for your business.
The ultimate goal of a BI expert is to turn your company’s information into a structured analysis.
Business intelligence, with the information it provides to managers on a day-to-day basis, helps you move the company’s financial position in the right direction and make the right decisions.
3. Increases the productivity of your company
Business intelligence has the ability to determine the wrong solutions, to determine the current state of the company carefully, and then to determine what needs to be done on a daily basis, what the company’s priorities are, and what everyone needs to do.
You may be interested to know that according to Toyota’s 2000 CIO website, commercial intelligence tools were able to understand that in the process of distributing and delivering goods, half the cost is more than what it should be, and by changing the strategy, this cost was reduced by 50%.
4. Accelerating the return on investment
The culmination of all the demands of a company and all of the above can be summed up in “rapid growth for return on investment“. Without the right insight and discipline, you would either fall into the trap of old-fashioned methods or speculate about user behaviour and things like that.
As we mentioned before, each company is a system in which all its parts are connected in some way, and it is not possible for each sector to have a separate strategy and nothing to do with the other parts. The whole effort of business intelligence is to provide information that, although available to each department separately, can give us a general basis on which to make decisions, strategize, and put into action.
This is exactly why BI can clearly help you plan your campaigns and change everything you need to know before it’s really too late and return your capital to you in the shortest possible time.
5. Reducing manpower costs
With the growth and development of our world today, the most important need that the business world needs more than ever is the need to analyze data and information. On the other hand, the data itself is becoming increasingly complex and multidimensional, as companies and businesses continue to move toward expansion and development. In parallel with this move, the need for specialized human resources to analyze data and prepare reports is more than ever. If you want to use traditional methods, you have to hire a lot of people, keep asking for reports, and always be the one to check these reports, but a business intelligence expert will do all that and get the reports you need as quickly as possible. In other words, it saves you a lot of time and money.
Two important dimensions of business intelligence
And now, finally, there are two important parameters for the successful implementation of a business intelligence system or project;
1. The technical dimension
The technical dimension is based on the data warehouse construction, database operations, data transfer, dashboard tools, and information cubes.
This is the first, most important and simplest part of business intelligence. If we were to describe this stage in simple language, we must say that this section has three main stages:
- Cognition: In the first step, you need to have a comprehensive analysis of the business, assess the current situation and identify its various parts.
- Data Warehouse Design: In this step, you need to create a data warehouse based on the information you gained in the previous step.
- Report preparation: In the last step of this section, which is report preparation, you prepare a report based on your data warehouse and convert raw information into understandable information.
For example, when making an online purchase, the database must contain information such as date, time, customer ID, purchased goods, supplier, numbers, and such information must be recorded in the system.
Finally, the database is made up of managed and summarized dashboards. For example, how much profit we made today, this week or this month, how much the profit has changed from last year, how many new customers were added from last month to this month…
2. The cultural dimension of business intelligence
The cultural dimension of business intelligence is related to the correct analysis of needs, culture of use and thinking. In fact, in this section, decisions are made based on existing facts (data). This stage requires a basic behavioural infrastructure. For this to be done well, continuous critique and variability, high organizational flexibility, and low organizational resistance to change are needed.
To get you acquainted with these dashboards and reports, here’s a picture of how a good business intelligence report can give the most important information a manager needs in less than a minute.
In the end
And finally, the world is getting smarter day by day, and if you don’t move with this global flow, you will fall badly behind. Any method or system that doesn’t work should be changed quickly, and the system should be updated to something smarter.